Please Help New English Review
For our donors from the UK:
New English Review
New English Review Facebook Group
Follow New English Review On Twitter
Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky














The Iconoclast

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear

WND: An Iranian judge has concluded a woman who was attacked and beaten and had her sewing shop equipment destroyed by vandals has no legal recourse because she was guilty of "evangelism," according to a new report from Voice of the Martyrs, a worldwide ministry to the Persecuted Church...

The woman, whose name was not revealed, was running a tailoring business, and had volunteered to teach three young ladies how to sew. As part of the conversations that arose, her testimony about Christianity came up, and in response to a number of questions, she started teaching them about Christianity, Voice of the Martyrs said.

The VOM contacts reported, however, one of the students was from "a fanatic Muslim family," and when they discovered the teaching, they first opposed it... 

"On one of the days when the seamstress was working in the dress shop, the young woman's family, including the father, went to the shop and broke all her equipment. A couple of ladies from the family started beating up the woman. They kept telling her that she forced their daughter to turn from Islam and become a Christian. They eventually informed the police about it. This lady was taken to the court because of all that had happened to her," the report continued.

"The judge considered her to be the guilty one. He told her that there was no way of refunding all the broken items in her shop. The judge said the persecutors had the right to attack her. The judge told the lady that if he heard about her doing evangelism again, he would punish her more severely," VOM said.

clear
Posted on 11/02/2007 3:18 PM by Rebecca Bynum
clear

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear

“I think it’s clear by now that the federal government needs to reclassify marijuana. People who need it should be able to get it – safely and easily,” says The Price Is Right and Power of 10 host Drew Carey in a new Reason.tv video examining medical marijuana and the war on drugs.

clear
Posted on 11/02/2007 2:47 PM by Rebecca Bynum
clear

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear
The Independent:  Scientists have been astounded by the creation of a genetically modified "supermouse" with extraordinary physical abilities – comparable to the performance of the very best athletes – raising the prospect that the discovery may one day be used to transform people's capacities.

The mouse can run up to six kilometres (3.7 miles) at a speed of 20 metres per minute for five hours or more without stopping. Scientists said that this was equivalent of a man cycling at speed up an Alpine mountain without a break. Although it eats up to 60 per cent more food than an ordinary mouse, the modified mouse does not put on weight. It also lives longer and enjoys an active sex life well into old age – being capable of breeding at three times the normal maximum age.

American scientists who created the mice – they now have a breeding colony of 500 – said that they were stunned by their abilities, especially given that the animals came about as a result of a standard genetic modification to a single metabolism gene shared with humans...

clear
Posted on 11/02/2007 2:28 PM by Rebecca Bynum
clear

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear

Daily Mail: Christmas should be downgraded in favour of festivals from other religions to improve race relations, says an explosive report.

Labour's favourite think-tank [the Institute for Public Policy Research] says that because it would be hard to "expunge" Christmas from the national calendar, 'even-handedness' means public organisations must start giving other religions equal footing.

The leaked findings of its investigation into identity, citizenship and community cohesion also propose: • "Birth ceremonies", at which state and parents agree to "work in partnership" to bring up children

• Action to "ensure access" for ethnic minorities to "largely white" countryside

• An overhaul of Britain's "imperial" honours system

• Bishops being thrown out of the House of Lords

• An end to "sectarian" religious education

• Flying flags other than the Union Jack....

"We can no longer define ourselves as a Christian nation, [states the report] nor an especially religious one in any sense.

"The empire is gone, church attendance is at historically low levels, and the Second World War is inexorably slipping from memory."

clear
Posted on 11/02/2007 2:03 PM by Rebecca Bynum
clear

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear

As I discussed in this article a few days ago, Judge Mukasey seems to be the only person required by Democrats to call for a categorical ban on all coercive interrogation tactics.

This morning, the Wall Street Journal recounts these comments by Sen. Chuck Schumer in 2004:

I think there are probably very few people in this room or in America who would say that torture should never ever be used, particularly if thousands of lives are at stake. . . . It is easy to sit back in the armchair and say that torture can never be used, but when you are in the foxhole it is a very different deal. And I respect, I think we all respect the fact that the President is in the foxhole every day.

In the Weekly Standard last week, Gabe Schoenfeld noted the nuanced position of Barack Obama and the flip-floppery of Hillary Clinton:

At the September 26 Democratic presidential debate, the moderator, Tim Russert, posed a stark question: "Imagine the following scenario. We get lucky. We get the number-three guy in al Qaeda. We know there's a big bomb going off in America in three days, and we know this guy knows where it is. Don't we have the right and responsibility to beat it out of him?"

Barack Obama responded by declaring that we cannot "have the president of the United States state as a matter of policy that there is a loophole or an exception where we would sanction torture." He then shifted, in the very same breath, to state that "there are going to be all sorts of hypotheticals, an emergency situation, and I will make that judgment at that time." In other words, he wants to preserve the very same loophole for which he lambastes President Bush.

Hillary Clinton was seemingly much clearer, declaring that "As a matter of policy, [torture] cannot be American policy, period." But buried in this unequivocal statement is a lawyerly loophole, evident in the carefully constructed caveat, "as a matter of policy." But still, she came close to standing her own previous position on its head. On an earlier occasion, she had held that there were "very rare" instances in which severe interrogation methods might be necessary and that the United States needs "lawful authority" to engage in them in cases involving an "imminent threat to millions of Americans."

As I reported, Hillary is not the only Clinton who has argued in favor of rough stuff in dire emergencies.  President Clinton has said a president should be able to order waterboarding and beyond (italics mine):

Look, if the president needed an option, there’s all sorts of things they can do. Let’s take the best case, OK. You picked up someone you know is the No. 2 aide to Osama bin Laden. And you know they have an operation planned for the United States or some European capital in the next three days. And you know this guy knows it. Right, that’s the clearest example. And you think you can only get it out of this guy by shooting him full of some drugs or water-boarding him or otherwise working him over. If they really believed that that scenario is likely to occur, let them come forward with an alternate proposal. We have a system of laws here where nobody should be above the law, and you don’t need blanket advance approval for blanket torture. They can draw a statute much more narrowly, which would permit the president to make a finding in a case like I just outlined, and then that finding could be submitted even if after the fact to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Clinton, Clinton, Obama and Schumer.  They have all, to a greater or lesser degree, embraced the concept of coercive interrogation (some, even torture — which is unquestionably illegal), and they have all underscored the excruciating complexity of this issue.  Somehow, they are fit to lead the Democratic Party but the suitability of Mukasey — who has taken a more measured stance — to be attorney general is in doubt?  What am I missing here?

clear
Posted on 11/02/2007 1:22 PM by Andy McCarthy
clear

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear

The House of Lords has once again resorted to the European Convention on Human Rights to undermine British national security.  As the Daily Telegraph reports, the Law Lords have ruled that 18-hour-a-day home detention for terror suspects subject to control orders is a human rights violation.  In their wisdom, the Lords indicated that 12-hour-a-day home detention would be permissible. 

While the "draconian" 18-hour control-order policy was in effect, several suspected terrorists fled, and most are still unaccounted for. 

Back in 2004, the Lords invalidated preventive detention.  They reasoned that it was impermissible to detain aliens without trial when Britons were not subjected to such treatment.  Lord Bingham, the chief Law Lord, explained that under the Human Rights Convention it was unlawful to "discriminate on the ground of nationality or immigration status" even for the benefit of British citizens in their own country.

As Melanie Phillips recounted in Londonistan, when, at Prime Minister Tony Blair's urging in the late nineties, Parliament incorporated the Human Rights Convention into English law, "the public were reassured that the courts would not be able to strike down acts of Parliament if these were judged to be in conflict with human rights law."  Surprise!

But let's hurry up and ratify that Law of the Sea Treaty.  Foreign tribunals are doing a fabulous job protecting their own countries, so why wouldn't we want to give them the last word on our security?

clear
Posted on 11/02/2007 1:18 PM by Andy McCarthy
clear

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear

SAN DIEGO – Six men of Middle Eastern descent contend American Airlines violated their civil rights in canceling their flight from San Diego last August after crew members told the captain they were alarmed by the men.

"The men, who all live in Michigan, were returning home after providing training for U.S. Marines. They were employed by an Alaska-based defense contractor that works with the U.S. military."
-- from this news article

Let's see. For very good money, no doubt, these men were doing what? Possibly acting as extras in those simulations of Iraq that have been so ballyhooed as "preparing our troops for their time in Iraq" which are really about lending verisimilitude to crowd scenes -- you know, with the troops attempting to keep order, or possibly to enter a house to search for weapons, and if they can do it with real Iraqis (on the American payroll, of course) that is supposed to be better.

That the troops need training, that the officers and the generals and the civilians need training, not in hearing or yelling "yallah, habibi" but rather in the nature of what cannot be seen or heard -- what is in the minds of many men, of most men, when they are raised on a steady mental diet of Islam, an Islam that must be studied, that cannot be picked up by any news agency's cameraman, nor compressed into a sound bite and so, while it is the largest and most important story of all -- What is Islam? What does Islam inculcate? What do Muslims think, what are they taught to think, about the relations of Islam with everything non-Islam, and the relations of Muslims to Infidels? -- is never covered, never thought about, never discussed, carefully evaded or avoided as the Idols of the Tribe (we are all God's chillun and, therefore, we all must want the same thing) continue to be brought burnt offerings by those who presume to instruct and to protect us. And some day, if things continue as they are, those burnt offerings will include our legal and political institutions, our mental freedoms, our art, our science, our everything -- including us.

Receiving pay from the American government -- there's plenty being flung about for every aspect of the hideously expensive Iraq folly -- is not a guarantee of loyalty, or of lack of hostility to Infidels, or of lack of a desire to cause trouble, or even to behave in a way so as to cause just enough anxiety among Infidels that they will respond in a certain way, and presto, you've got your potential lawsuit, and as plaintiffs ready to settle out of court -- for something small, shall we say a cool million between the six of us and our lawyer -- well, we might just let American Airlines, or a thousand other potential defendants, off the carefully-baited hook.

clear
Posted on 11/02/2007 1:02 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear

"J'attendrai," sings Rina Ketty in the clip linked here. "J'attendrai, le jour et la nuit/J'attendrai toujours/ton retour." Meanwhile Louise Brookes decides she can't wait much longer and gets her kit off from a coy start in just under three minutes. This is a mistake. Either her lover will come back sharpish, in which case he will think her forward for greeting him naked - this is 1938 after all - or he isn't coming back for many more jours et nuits, so she's going to get a bit chilly. What happens if she wants to pop out for a croissant, or to repair the necklace she's been munching at? Louise - forget him, put a cardie on, and stop pretending to be French.

There so many good English songs about waiting - "Tired of Waiting", "Wait in Vain", "Just You Wait, Henry Higgins" - that we don't need French ones. Literature is also full of people who wait - Anne Eliot, Penelope, the waiter with no name in Sartre's Being and Nothingness, those tramps in that play who should know better. Some of them, as Milton pointed out, also serve, but most just wait. Since waiting is such an integral part of the human condition, it might be instructive to hear some deep thoughts on the subject. And who deeper than our old friend Blah-feme? I hope it's worth waiting for:

Expectation, like an itch, that sits and twitches with its own fecund materiality: when will it arrive, what will it be like, will I be able to make sense of it? There is always something in this waiting that is quite delicious, quite intoxicating: he will come and I will be full; it will come and I will be more; she will come and I will reach across the abyss and make a connection, be much, much, much more than just here, just waiting.

The intensity of expectation, its coarseness, its textured pulsing contingency is a symptom of its structural refusal of the foreclosure: to wait is to be open, to wait is to be ripe, ready, waiting waiting waiting as if for the end, the beginning, the middle.

Something will arrive into this scene that ends this.

But the ending is precisely what which I do not want.

Now that's where you and I differ.

clear
Posted on 11/02/2007 10:52 AM by Mary Jackson
clear

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear

Hugh's Muslim-Only Airline idea is looking better all the time.

The Clarion-Ledger: For more than a year, officials with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration have blamed low-level airport employees for spreading word of the presence of undercover federal investigators sent to test the security procedures.

But an e-mail obtained by The Clarion-Ledger shows TSA's top security managers were issuing detailed alerts in an apparent effort to pass exams on which the agency had performed poorly.

The e-mail, sent April 28, 2006, is a memo from Mark Restovich, TSA assistant administrator for the Office of Security Operations, warning airport security directors across the nation undercover investigators were "testing airports through the country."

The memo includes descriptions of the inspectors and how they planned to breach airport security.

"They have a stack of fake ID's, they try to penetrate security, place IED's on aircraft and test gate staff," the memo states. "These individuals were in CHS (Charleston International Airport) earlier this week and using a date altered boarding pass manage to get through the security checkpoint. Alert your security line vendors to be aware of subtle alterations to date info."...

clear
Posted on 11/02/2007 7:58 AM by Rebecca Bynum
clear

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear
Women who wear figure-hugging clothes are giving Muslim men sleepless nights and distracting them from prayer, a prominent cleric said yesterday.
Attacking the appeal of modern Malaysian women, Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat — a fundamentalist Muslim cleric who controls the main opposition party and one of the country’s 13 states — said that provocative clothes were a form of “emotional abuse”. --from Esmerelda's post here

Here's a little something that may cause mental anguish for "Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, the spiritual leader of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party":

http://youtube.com/watch?v=IQtHZeyIfrM

So go ahead, leader of the Pan-Islamic Malaysian Party in northeastern Kelantan. Sue me.

clear
Posted on 11/02/2007 7:43 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear

I don't know who is advising the Obama campaign, but he continues to hand Hillary new reasons to brand him as naive and inexperienced.

New Duranty: CHICAGO, Oct. 31 — Senator Barack Obama says he would “engage in aggressive personal diplomacy” with Iran if elected president and would offer economic inducements and a possible promise not to seek “regime change” if Iran stopped meddling in Iraq and cooperated on terrorism and nuclear issues.

In an hourlong interview on Wednesday, Mr. Obama made clear that forging a new relationship with Iran would be a major element of a broad effort to stabilize Iraq as he executed a speedy timetable for the withdrawal of American combat troops.

Mr. Obama said that Iran had been “acting irresponsibly” by supporting Shiite militant groups in Iraq. He also emphasized that Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program and its support for “terrorist activities” were serious concerns.

But he asserted that Iran’s support for militant groups in Iraq reflected its anxiety over the Bush administration’s policies in the region, including talk of a possible American military strike on Iranian nuclear installations.

Making clear that he planned to talk to Iran without preconditions, Mr. Obama emphasized further that “changes in behavior” by Iran could possibly be rewarded with membership in the World Trade Organization, other economic benefits and security guarantees...

clear
Posted on 11/02/2007 7:35 AM by Rebecca Bynum
clear

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear

(CNN) -- Saudi Arabia could have helped the United States prevent al Qaeda's 2001 attacks on New York and Washington if American officials had consulted Saudi authorities in a "credible" way, the kingdom's former ambassador said in a documentary aired Thursday.

The comments by Prince Bandar bin Sultan are similar to the remarks this week by Saudi King Abdullah that suggested Britain could have prevented the July 2005 train bombings in London if it had heeded warnings from Riyadh.

Speaking to the Arabic satellite network Al-Arabiya on Thursday, Bandar -- now Abdullah's national security adviser -- said Saudi intelligence was "actively following" most of the September 11, 2001, plotters "with precision."

"If U.S. security authorities had engaged their Saudi counterparts in a serious and credible manner, in my opinion, we would have avoided what happened," he said...

Page 4 from the Bob Woodward's book State of Denial contains the following exchange between Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the US and then Governor Bush:

Bush: "My dad told me before I make up my mind [about running for President], go and talk to Bandar. One, he's our friend. Our means America, not just the Bush family. Number two, he knows everyone around the world who counts. And number three, he'll give you his view on what he sees happening in the world. Maybe he can set up meetings for you with people around the world."

The Guardian has published accusations that [British contractor BAE] paid £30m a quarter - for at least 10 years -  into accounts controlled by Prince Bandar at the Riggs bank in Washington.

clear
Posted on 11/02/2007 6:58 AM by Rebecca Bynum
clear

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear

John Cage's 4’33” was on the radio the other day, with an informative introduction by Marcel Marceau. As if this were not enough, I then read in The Spectator that Cage has another string to his silent fiddle:

John Cage was the composer of 4’33”, the piano performance piece that consists of 4 minutes and 33 seconds of complete silence — except for the mutterings of the audience — and Imaginary Landscape No. 4, in which 12 radios are played at the same time for several hours. He was also the inventor of the ‘prepared piano’, in which a grand piano is filled with nuts, bolts and scrap metal to alter its sound. But Cage once said that if he were to live his life over again, he would be a botanist rather than an artist. He was in fact an amateur mycologist of some distinction, helping to found the New York Mycological Society, winning an Italian TV quiz on mushrooms in the 1950s, and co-writing (with Lois Long and Alexander Smith) The Mushroom Book, shown above. It is composed of lithographs of mushrooms with hand-written texts on mushroom-hunting, mushroom-identification and mushroom-cooking. The writing is superimposed in such a way that the texts are frequently illegible, the idea being that ‘ideas are to be found in the same way that you find wild mushrooms in the forest, by just looking. Instead of having them come at you clearly, they come to you as things hidden, like Easter eggs.’

It's always the quiet ones, isn't it? Whoever would have realised that Cage could be such a fungi?

clear
Posted on 11/02/2007 6:51 AM by Mary Jackson
clear

Friday, 02 November 2007
clear
Women who wear figure-hugging clothes are giving Muslim men sleepless nights and distracting them from prayer, a prominent cleric said yesterday.
Attacking the appeal of modern Malaysian women, Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat — a fundamentalist Muslim cleric who controls the main opposition party and one of the country’s 13 states — said that provocative clothes were a form of “emotional abuse”.
Clothes that are modest by Western standards were, he said, stopping the country’s men getting a good night’s sleep. “We always [hear about] the abuse of children and wives in households, which is easily perceived by the eye but the emotional abuse of men cannot be seen,” Mr Nik Abdul Aziz said. “Our prayers become unfocused and our sleep is often disturbed.” Like so many of his previous outbursts, the comments drew instant criticism from women’s groups.
Previous advice from Mr Nik Abdul Aziz to Malaysia’s women included the suggestion that they would be at a lower risk of being raped if they abandoned their lipstick and perfume. Mr Nik Abdul Aziz posted a diagram of an appropriately dressed woman on his party’s website. The picture shows a woman in a baggy, floor-length dress with a scarf covering her hair.
As the minister of the northeastern state of Kelantan, Mr Nik Abdul Aziz has imposed fines on Muslim women who fail to wear headscarves, and imposed other draconian restrictions.
I think this comment sums my own view up nicely.
“if the people who follow your religion are not strong enough mentally to resist the urges of flesh, what does it say about your religion? it must be spineless, immoral and devoid of any real culture”.
clear
Posted on 11/02/2007 3:26 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear

Thursday, 01 November 2007
clear

In all the hubbub over Hillary's meltdown on the licenses for illegals question, here is what strikes me:  How does she go out there without someone having asked her that question in a prep session?  Given her NY-Dem association, the uproar over comprehensive immigration reform, and the controversy stirred by the Spitzer plan, it seems like a pretty obvious question.  How come she wasn't better prepared for it?

When I first came into the U.S. Attorney's Office in NY (under Giuliani) among the first things I learned was that prosecutors were expected to argue their own cases on appeal (to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit), and that — a day or two before any such oral argument — the prosecutor had to go through a moot court prep session where he or she was grilled by three colleagues (just like you could expect to be grilled by the three-judge panel).  Your colleagues were expected to have read the briefs and come prepared to ask the tough questions.  And because they themselves were prosecutors who were used to being beaten up on by federal judges, they also readily assumed the demeanor of especially demanding (and sometimes nasty) interrogators.

Almost uniformly, those prep sessions were tougher than the actual court session.  You got asked every conceivable hard question.  Moreover, because it's a lot tougher to dance away from a hard-driving appeals court judge than from Tim Russert, you were also forced to confront the reality that you just can't always expect to have it both ways — you have to either be for or against, say, licenses for illegals.  When someone grills you and mocks you for trying that, you realize it's better to pick a side and defend it as coherently as you can then to bob-and-weave (which has the unfortunate spillover effect of tainting your arguments on other issues). 

I don't know what Sen. Clinton does to get ready for these debates, but particularly for someone who is not used to being pressed on issues and details, there is no substitute for having people around you who are not afraid to put you through your paces before the bright lights come on.

clear
Posted on 11/01/2007 6:12 PM by Andy McCarthy
clear

Thursday, 01 November 2007
clear

Thursday, 01 November 2007
clear

The British mess a lot of things up, but one thing we get right is royal protocol. The Darth Vader march is deliberate, make no mistake about it.

Just into the video, look carefully at the Queen's face, a face that has kept straight before many a cavorting semi-naked Maori. She's having a bit of a giggle. In fact, if I may lapse into the vernacular for a moment, she is pissing herself.

Could this be the famous Royal We?

clear
Posted on 11/01/2007 5:16 PM by Mary Jackson
clear

Thursday, 01 November 2007
clear

Driving around Romney Marsh last week, an area noted for sheep, I said that I had never seen so many sheep as this year.
That evening this news article was on the 6 pm news.  Because of the bluetongue exclusion zone around Sussex, Kent, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk  the sheep cannot be moved off the marsh to the west country for fattening as is usual in autumn.  The authorities think this may the the largest concentration of sheep in the world, 200, 000 trapped on Romney Marsh.  Either side of the A259, in every field as far as I could see in every direction. Sheep.
The fear is that grazing will run out and fodder will cost the farmer more than he will get for the sheep at market.

clear
Posted on 11/01/2007 3:51 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear

Thursday, 01 November 2007
clear

....When The War Was World War II

by Hugh Fitzgerald

England: Vera Lynn - I'm Yours Sincerely & We'll Meet Again

United StatesBetty Hutton - Murder, He Says 

                                                               more..

clear
Posted on 11/01/2007 3:36 PM by NER
clear

Thursday, 01 November 2007
clear

Thursday, 01 November 2007
clear

From a posting two years ago:

"This story nicely captures the nature of the purest, most undiluted, version of Islam that is represented by Saudi Arabia. The next time you see a gaggle of assorted ruling family members, those princelings and their courtiers who have seized the wealth of "Saudi" Arabia -- the result of an accident of geology -- largely for themselves, engaged in some tribal dance, all daggers-and-dishdashas, or swishing forward as their flock of black-draped wives is herded along behind them, into some bank in Mayfair, to discuss a financial transaction or, having taken over a floor or two at the Plaza Athenee, or some Relais-et-Chateaux resort, or perhaps just out for some shopping in London or Marbella, or attending some international gathering of panjandrums where those Saudis will be taken seriously by the cowed leaders of the impressionable Western world -- just think of this court decision, and what it says about the view of men and women, and everything else that it tells us about the mental set of the people in the country of Saudi Arabia.

Despite the P.R. campaigns and all the bought-and-paid for Western ex-diplomats, ex-C.I.A. men, journalists, and so on, despite those in the ruling class with their outwardly Western ways, from the soft voice and sincere expression of the Crown Prince Abdullah to the "nudge-nudge-wink-wink-have-a-glass-of-port-we-are-all-men-of-the-world here and of-course-we're-corrupt-isn't-everyone-but-we-have-our-limits Prince Bandar -- each has his special performance that is given repeatedly to Western interlocutors, who continue to demonstrate an inexhaustible ability to allow themselves to be fooled, by the Saudis as by other Arab Muslims (the Egyptians and Jordanians trot out their best figures; in the case of the latter, now that the "plucky little king" is gone, do not forget for a minute that even 30 years of being the recipients of the largest transfer of wealth in human history, which wealth bought the leisure to study, to travel, to think, and to observe how things are done elsewhere, has not made the slightest dent on the primitive workings of primitive minds with a primitive ideology. Brainwashed young, Saudis, returning from their years of freedom (fast cars, fast Western girls, bought-and-paid for term papers and even "doctoral" theses -- that's what that freedom was used for) in the West, rarely demonstrate that those years in the advanced outside had any effect on their mentality.

There are exceptions. Some of those exceptions are condemned to living in Saudi Arabia, because that is "where the money is." They get out for a breath of fresh air whenever they can, using Europe and America as their funfair-cum-brothel. Occasionally, behind the high walls of Saudi palace-houses, one may whisper to another about their secret conclusions, though never about Islam itself (perhaps a few proudly keep in their London flats Cook and Crone's "Hagarism" or even Luxenberg's philological study of the early Qur'an -- the Arab Muslim version of proscribed texts).

In Saudi itself, a few of them may write a few articles suggesting that the "extremists" have it wrong are now permitted -- as long as it is understand that what those "extremists" have wrong is not the attacks on the Western world, but the attacks on the ruling class in Saudi Arabia itself, and above all in labelling that ruling class as "infidel." In other words, they are allowed to enjoy the freedom to preach: take your Jihad elsewhere, and leave the House of Al-Saud alone. And this is misunderstood in the West as a sign of "reform" (nonsense) in Saudi Arabia.

"Tribes with flags" is how many describe the states of the Arabian Peninsula, the Jazirat al-arab. Even truer, and more trippingly alliterative, would be the formula that sums them all up: "Tribes with trillions." Fortunately, they have managed since 1973 to squander most of those trillions, and have failed, as under Islam they would necessarily fail, to develop a modern economy.

Helping to create the conditions in which the full failures -- political, economic, intellectual, and social -- of Islamic countries, precisely to the extent that they adhere to Islam -- should be the goal of Western foreign policy. Ceasing to pay the jizya of foreign aid to the likes of Egypt and Pakistan and Jordan (and not to contribute anything more to Iraq) would help hasten the day when those failures, and their connection to the fatalism, despotism, and supremacist ideology of Islam, will be apparent to more and more non-Arab Muslims, and even to Arabs, whose sense of self is so completely wrapped up with Islam.

A Franco-Armenian architect who spent years building military cities in Saudi Arabia, asked to describe what that country was like, replied:

"Money can buy everything."
And then he added: "Except civilization."

clear
Posted on 11/01/2007 2:59 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Thursday, 01 November 2007
clear

New Duranty: DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 31 — Alexandre Robert, a French 15-year-old, was having a fine summer in this tourist paradise on the Persian Gulf. It was Bastille Day and he and a classmate had escaped the July heat at the beach for an air-conditioned arcade.

Just after sunset, Alex says he was rushing to meet his father for dinner when he bumped into an acquaintance, a 17-year-old native-born student at the American school, who said he and his cousin could drop Alex off at home.

There were, in fact, three Emirati men in the car, including a pair of former convicts ages 35 and 18, according to Alex. He says they drove him past his house and into a dark patch of desert, between a row of new villas and a power plant, took away his cellphone, threatened him with a knife and a club, and told him they would kill his family if he ever reported them.

Then they stripped off his pants and one by one sodomized him in the back seat of the car. They dumped Alex across from one of Dubai’s luxury hotel towers.

Alex and his family were about to learn that despite Dubai’s status as the Arab world’s paragon of modernity and wealth, and its well-earned reputation for protecting foreign investors, its criminal legal system remains a perilous gantlet when it comes to homosexuality and protection of foreigners.

The authorities not only discouraged Alex from pressing charges, he, his family and French diplomats say; they raised the possibility of charging him with criminal homosexual activity, and neglected for weeks to inform him or his parents that one of his attackers had tested H.I.V. positive while in prison four years earlier.

“They tried to smother this story,” Alex said by phone from Switzerland, where he fled a month into his 10th-grade school year, fearing a jail term in Dubai if charged with homosexual activity. “Dubai, they say we build the highest towers, they have the best hotels. But all the news, they hide it. They don’t want the world to know that Dubai still lives in the Middle Ages.”...

clear
Posted on 11/01/2007 2:53 PM by Rebecca Bynum
clear

Thursday, 01 November 2007
clear

"In a speech today the minister [Hazel Blears] will make her first foray into tackling radicalisation and extremism in the community. She will announce plans to 'beat the terrorists at their own game' by extending the fight against terrorism to gyms, cafés and the internet where increasingly-sophisticated techniques are used to recruit youngsters.

Ms Blears said: 'This is a generational issue. We have got to get to young people - five to 15-year-olds, as well as the teenagers who are currently being targeted - and strengthen their resilience, so that they can say to the extremists ’I am comfortable with being a Muslim in Britain today and I want no part of it’.'"
-- from this news article, describing the nearly 200 million dollars that the British government intends to use to bribe Muslim "youths" into not engaging in violent Jihad

Karen Hughes believed in "reaching out" to "the Muslim community. Her notion of "public diplomacy" consisted of telling Muslims how very deeply we respected them, how wonderfully Muslims were being treated and succeeding in the United States, how very hard we were trying to meet Muslim demands and exhibit extreme solicitousness for Muslim sensibilities (Iftar dinners at the White House and suchlike), how very impressed we all were with Islam, the real Islam, not the false Islam that motivates all that vast yet tiny minority of extremists all over the known world who keep misunderstanding or misusing, for their own quite unclear ends, the "religion" of Islam.

This meant nothing. This changed nothing in the texts of Islam, the tenets of Islam, the attitudes of Islam toward Infidels and toward the most powerful, and so far most resolute (if confused) of the Infidel powers, the United States. It was taken only as a sign of weakness that could be played upon, if expressions of Muslim victimhood continued to be offered and continued to be taken at face value rather than ignored or, even better, denounced by Infidels as farcical. For every complaint about a "war of civilizations" by Muslims should have been met with discussions of the "war that Islam has been waging for the past 1300 years on all non-Muslims," and every attempt by Muslims to focus exclusively on the supposed sins of a West, with its transparently guilt-edged security, should be met by references to the 60-70 million Hindus murdered by Muslim masters in the past, or to the blacks of the southern Sudan, and the Buddhists of southern Thailand, and all the other victims of the ideology of Islam (texts, tenets, attitudes) that have nothing to do with the West.

Now comes Hazel Blears, the equivalent of Karen Hughes, and insists on spending money, throwing money at Muslims because if only they can stop hanging around street corners, and feel that they "belong to Britain" what they, and anyone else (yes, so can you, and so can any man) can read in the Qur'an, can read in the Hadith, can read in the biographies of Muhammad, about what Muslims must think and do, and to what and to whom their sole loyalty must be given, will not change. No amount of money will change that.

But Hazel Blears is determined that this reality must never be examined. It is too painful. Were she even to begin to recognize, to express a hint of recognition, that what Islam teaches, what Islam has always taught and that has always explained why Muslims felt justified in conquering so many non-Muslim lands, and then subjecting the vast populations, so varied, so "diverse," of Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and others to a permanent status (in the case of those other than Christians and Jews, the alternative at first was conversion or death, and only later, to preserve the tax base -- the population of jizyah-payers --were people other than Christians and Jews allowed to survive so as to keep paying the jizyah on which their Muslim masters depended), of humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity. She's just too dumb. She's not up to the task.

Who, in Great Britain, is?

clear
Posted on 11/01/2007 12:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

clear


Guns, Germs and Steel in Tanzania
The Thinking Person's Safari
Led by Geoffrey Clarfield
Most Recent Posts at The Iconoclast
Search The Iconoclast
Enter text, Go to search:
clear
The Iconoclast Posts by Author
The Iconoclast Archives
sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30     
clear

Subscribe